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Galvis returns to Philly for 1st time as a Padre

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Freddy Galvis emerged from the tunnels of Citizens Bank Park. He smiled wide, shook some hands and chatted with reporters before joining his teammates to stretch.

Galvis spent six years playing home games here, and so much of this scene felt familiar. But on Friday, Galvis reached the Phillies clubhouse and kept walking down the hall. He wore blue and gray instead of red and white. He hit batting practice with San Diego. He answered questions in front of the visitors' dugout.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Freddy Galvis emerged from the tunnels of Citizens Bank Park. He smiled wide, shook some hands and chatted with reporters before joining his teammates to stretch.

Galvis spent six years playing home games here, and so much of this scene felt familiar. But on Friday, Galvis reached the Phillies clubhouse and kept walking down the hall. He wore blue and gray instead of red and white. He hit batting practice with San Diego. He answered questions in front of the visitors' dugout.

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"Kind of weird, you know," Galvis said prior to his team's 11-5 loss, in which he went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, "but it was good."

That is how Galvis, a long way from signing with the Phillies as a 16-year-old kid from Venezuela, felt returning to the city where he became a big leaguer. Friday marked his first game against the Phillies since they traded him to the Padres for Enyel De Los Santos in December.

The trade, Galvis said, was a surprise. But the Phillies, with rookies J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery joining the fold in 2018, had too many infielders, and they could afford to get rid of their longest tenured player. In return, they received a pitching prospect who now owns a 9-3 record and 1.89 ERA in 16 starts at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. De Los Santos would have started for the International League in the Triple-A All-Star Game had he not been called up to make two spot starts for the Phillies.

"I'm not 15 years old -- I'm 28," Galvis said. "I know what it is. I know it's a business, part of the business. Move on, and that's it."

Galvis played the first of his 642 games in a Phillies uniform on Opening Day in 2012. Roy Halladay threw eight shutout innings in a 1-0 Phillies victory at PNC Park. The club went 81-81 that year, missed the playoffs for the first time since 2006 and finished with a losing record every season Galvis played for the Phillies since.

When he arrived Friday, the Phillies held a half-game lead in the National League East.

"I know I helped those guys to build what they're doing right now," Galvis said. "I've seen all those guys as soon as they came into the big leagues. For a moment, I was like the big bro."

Galvis said he likes San Diego and the Padres' fans. Still, a lot of memories rushed back when he walked onto the Phillies' field Friday evening.

"This team gave me the opportunity to be a professional player," he said. "Every time I come here is going to be a special moment for me."

Joe Bloss is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

San Diego Padres, Freddy Galvis